Fermented goat milk consumption during anaemia recovery: ergogenic effect and improvement of skeletal muscle homeostasis

Eur J Nutr. 2017 Oct;56(7):2277-2287. doi: 10.1007/s00394-016-1268-z. Epub 2016 Jul 13.


Purpose: Anaemia is associated with fatigue and diminished muscular oxygenation, which may affect skeletal muscle (SM). No studies are available about the SM modifications during anaemia recovery; therefore, the aim of this study is to study SM homeostasis during anaemia recovery with fermented milks.

Methods: Forty male Wistar rats were placed on a pre-experimental period of 40 days, divided in two groups (control group receiving normal-Fe diet and Fe-deficient group receiving low-Fe diet). Lately, rats were fed with fermented goat or cow milk-based diets, with normal-Fe content during 30 days. After feeding the fermented milks, leptin, adiponectin, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and protein expression (UCP1, PepT1 and irisin) within the SM were assessed.

Results: Adiponectin decreased in both groups of animals fed fermented goat milk, while leptin and NEFA increased. UCP1 protein expression increased in control and anaemic animals fed fermented goat milk. UCP1 also increased in both group of anaemic animals fed either fermented cow or goat milk in comparison with their controls. Irisin increased in both group of animals fed fermented goat milk. Finally, PepT1 also showed an increased expression in control and anaemic rats fed fermented goat milk and the anaemia also induced an over-expression of this transporter in animals fed either fermented cow or goat milk.

Conclusion: Fermented goat milk consumption during anaemia recovery diminishes adiposity depots and enhances lipolysis, increasing UCP1, PepT1 and irisin protein expression, featuring an ergogenic effect in the SM which is an important endocrine regulator of body metabolism.

Keywords: Anaemia; Fermented milks; Irisin; Myokines; Skeletal muscle.

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / blood
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / therapy*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Cattle
  • Cultured Milk Products*
  • Diet
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Fermentation
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Fibronectins / genetics
  • Fibronectins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Goats
  • Hepcidins / blood
  • Homeostasis
  • Iron / blood
  • Iron-Binding Proteins / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Peptide Transporter 1 / genetics
  • Peptide Transporter 1 / metabolism
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Transferrin / metabolism
  • Uncoupling Protein 1 / genetics
  • Uncoupling Protein 1 / metabolism


  • Adiponectin
  • FNDC5 protein, rat
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Fibronectins
  • Hepcidins
  • Iron-Binding Proteins
  • Leptin
  • Peptide Transporter 1
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Slc15a1 protein, rat
  • Transferrin
  • Ucp1 protein, rat
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • Ferritins
  • Iron